Toronto Hydro-Lert - Shut The Door! Businesses urged to help conserve during the heat wave

As hot, muggy temperatures continue across the city, Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited (Toronto Hydro) continues to appeal for conservation. Prolonged heat waves strain the electricity distribution system because overnight ambient air temperatures (staying above 20 degrees Celsius) do not allow transformers and cables to cool sufficiently. Business owners, especially, have a big part to play in reducing electricity consumption during weekday peak periods.  And, all that wasted electricity will result in an expensive fall electricity bill.

"Open for Business, but Doors are Closed" 
Although it may be tempting to entice overheated customers into stores by blasting AC onto the street, this wastes money and electricity.
Here is a breakdown by the numbers (see image):
Negative Impact - One Store, One Open Door
  • Wastes 3,850 kilowatt hours of electricity;
  • Pays about $500 more for electricity this summer, or approximately $125 per month;
  • Releases more than 610 kg of unnecessary carbon dioxide into the atmosphere
Positive Impact - 1,000 Stores With Closed Doors Saves 3.85 million kilowatt hours of electricity;
  • Saves $500,000 on summer electricity bills;
  • Prevents 610 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released, which is equivalent to removing 110 cars from the road or saving 1,400 barrels of oil.
Many businesses can apply the same money-saving tips that apply to homes. However, energy-efficient lighting likely plays a bigger role, as does the wise use of air conditioning. 
Here are some tips for businesses on how to keep cool while conserving electricity and saving money:
  • Don't leave the front door open when air conditioning!
  • Take advantage of the free lighting retrofit program from Toronto Hydro.  This is the easiest program of all. Qualifying small businesses can get up to $1,500 in FREE energy-efficient lighting at no cost!
  • In the summer, set the temperature at least one degree higher than you normally would.
  • Add a portable or ceiling fan to help cooling.
  • Relax your dress code to help keep employees comfortable.
  • Keep computers on standby. On average, computers are only used 10 per cent of the time they are turned on.
  • Unplug electronics: Many electronic items such as TVs, computers and photocopiers continue to consume small amounts of electricity even when turned off. Try plugging these items into a power bar with a switch, so you can easily turn them off when they are not in use.
  • Remove light bulbs in areas with excess lighting levels, such as near windows, in hallways and in areas with no furniture.
Toronto Hydro offers financial incentives and technical help for energy efficiency projects. Learn more at
For more tips on how to conserve visit

on July 16, 2013